Jazz Related Blues

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The blues have had a strong influence on jazz since the very beginning. Likewise, when you listen to a guitarist like Robben Ford effortlessly blend the two genres it becomes hard to tell where one genre ends and other starts.

The Jazz Related Blues genre at JMA is for those blues artists who also play jazz, as well as important blues artists who had an impact on the world of jazz.

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Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm

JIMMY SMITH Bashin' The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith Album Cover Bashin' The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith
JIMMY SMITH
4.95 | 4 ratings
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JIMMY SMITH Jimmy And Wes:The Dynamic Duo Album Cover Jimmy And Wes:The Dynamic Duo
JIMMY SMITH
4.74 | 6 ratings
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DINAH WASHINGTON Dinah Jams Album Cover Dinah Jams
DINAH WASHINGTON
4.95 | 2 ratings
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JIMMY SMITH The Cat Album Cover The Cat
JIMMY SMITH
4.71 | 5 ratings
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JIMMY SMITH Back at the Chicken Shack Album Cover Back at the Chicken Shack
JIMMY SMITH
4.64 | 9 ratings
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KENNY BURRELL Midnight Blue Album Cover Midnight Blue
KENNY BURRELL
4.63 | 8 ratings
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DUKE ROBILLARD Guitar Groove-A-Rama Album Cover Guitar Groove-A-Rama
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5.00 | 1 ratings
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DUKE ROBILLARD Blue Mood - The Songs Of T-Bone Walker Album Cover Blue Mood - The Songs Of T-Bone Walker
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5.00 | 1 ratings
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AMOS GARRETT Get Way Back (A Tribute to Percy Mayfield) Album Cover Get Way Back (A Tribute to Percy Mayfield)
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5.00 | 1 ratings
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AMOS GARRETT I Make My Home in My Shoes Album Cover I Make My Home in My Shoes
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5.00 | 1 ratings
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AMOS GARRETT Acoustic Album Album Cover Acoustic Album
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DEREK TRUCKS Already Free Album Cover Already Free
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5.00 | 1 ratings
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jazz related blues Music Reviews

ESTHER PHILLIPS The Country Side Of Esther Phillips (aka Release Me!)

Album · 1966 · Jazz Related Blues
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Matt
Esther Phillips hit rock bottom by 1954 at 19 years of age and stayed there till 1962 after leaving Johnny Otis’ band in 1950 . She was known as Little Esther back then and in her first year with Johnny Otis she had a string of hits but as a roller coaster climbs to the top one knows where it is going next and Esther took that ride down at a quite a speed. She left Johnny Otis’s band after the first year and went solo but the hits stopped. She recorded thirty songs with her new record label Federal with only one getting to number eight on the charts. She went back home to Texas and worked clubs and venues locally but drug addiction kept getting in the way and luckily for Esther a young Kenny Rogers saw one of her shows in 1962 and signed her to his brother’s record label, Lenox. She went on to record a Ray Price hit “Release Me” (1963) which was a Country song and made it number one on the R&B charts and number eight on the Pop ones. After a brief hiatus at Lenox Esther signed with Atlantic Records and recorded her first album “And I Love Him” in 1965 which was released in 1966 with a follow up in the same year “Esther Phillips Sings” but she was not finished yet for 1966 when she also released “The Country Side Of Esther Phillips”.

The title explains the album’s theme quite sufficiently and all are given a beautiful Soul injection from Esther with the Anita Kerr sisters providing backing vocals throughout the album’s duration which was recorded down in Nashville for even more Country authenticity. Ray Charles was the ground breaker for these type of integrated albums with his release in 1962 of “Modern Sounds In Country And Western” which today is considered his greatest album by many and “The Country Side Of Esther Phillips” is not far behind for quality. Eleven tracks were included within the album with two Hank Williams’, being “I Can’t Help It” and “Why Should We Try Anymore” and Esther makes them her own with a stunning Soul interpretation of both. “I’d Fight The World” a Hank Cochrane song is given a lovely Soul rendition and for me is one of the top songs included. “Just Out Of Reach” was a Ray Price hit and an album single for Esther, “Be Honest With Me” is simply superb which is a Gene Autry and Fred Rose composition( Hank Williams covered many a, Fred tune). Even an early Charlie Rich “No Headstone on My Grave” with a Blues feel injected is just another album highlight with “After Loving You”, “Am I That Easy To Forget”, “Just Out Of Reach” and also included is a beautiful Soul version of “I've Forgotten More Than I’ll Ever Know About Him”. “Release Me” is a different version to Esther’s 1963 single and for myself it is actually an improvement with more emotion contained within.

“The Country Side Of Esther Phillips” is the female version of Ray’s “Modern Sounds In Country And Western” and could be considered the greatest female take of a Soul/Country album ever recorded. Esther had her own distinct sound with her voice bringing a distinct magic to this album and she sang from her guts with all the necessary emotion placed beautifully within every song. Many say her later Kudu Label material is better due to her hit “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” but for me it is the Atlantic albums with this being her jewel. We lost her far too young, she was only 48 back in 1984. If like myself you love these Country/ Soul albums and find this and Ray Charles enjoyable another good one is Joe Tex’s, “Soul Country” on Atlantic as well.

ELLIOTT SHARP Terraplane

Album · 1994 · Jazz Related Blues
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siLLy puPPy
Although i'm not the hugest fan and hardly familiar with the vast discography of ELLIOTT SHARP, I am familiar with a handful of his recordings and actually liking a few. For anyone who has had even the tiniest of sampling of his music will know that his stuff is plain strange and otherworldly. He has been a major player in the avant-garde and experimental world of music for decades and has also dabbled in no wave, modern classical and free jazz. So what a surprise when I picked this up and threw it in just to familiarize myself with more of his music.

What came out of my speakers was simple blues songs. I had to check to see if the correct CD was in the jewel case because I had no idea ELLIOTT had done anything even remotely sounding like anything the public would recognize as music! Yep. It was he. On TERRAPLANE basically we have a whole bunch of covers from classic blues artists such as Otis Rush, Freddie King and Sleepy John Estes and a few originals that fit into the mix. Everything here is well played but I have never been a fan of cover albums and I would rather hear his avant-garde stuff. This is nice and all but I can't understand why he would want to play these songs so faithfully without putting his own weird stamp on them. Nice but safe and i'd rather hear the original artists when I go for classic blues.

Although this is under the ELLIIOTT SHARP name, this is actually the first album of the band that he would name TERRAPLANE who would put out a few more blues albums after this one, however one of these is enough for me and I don't think i'll be exploring this branch of his musical output.

YUSEF LATEEF The Blue Yusef Lateef

Album · 1968 · Jazz Related Blues
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Sean Trane
Yusef’s generally most acknowledged second half of the 60’s album, The Blue Yusef, indeed the album has some credential at being among his better works in a very prolific career, though some jazz purists would probably beg to differ. As you’ll guess by the title, the album features much blues, a good deal of it being 12 bars, and a rarer 16 bars one, which sounds more mysterious. This could Ysef’s first album for Ahmet Ertegun’s Attlantic label (coming after from his impulse period), as well.

Opening on the bluesy Juba, Yusef brings immediate depth by mixing harmonica (courtesy of Buddy Lucas) and highly evocative from The Sweet Inspirations. The following 8-mins Like It Is has a highly haunting melody, first opening on an enchanted flute, then segueing in a delightful sax, then the underlying Lawson piano unleashes and a string quartet concludes in a masterful way. The exotic sounding (I’d say far-east, mixed with south-eastern Asia roots) Moon Cup is based on Phrygian scales, and it’s probably the least accessible track on the album. Othelia is a rather standard boogie blues with little interest, unlike the train-like rhythms of Back Home, where the harmonica returns, along some demented sax and percussions. Get Over and the rest of the flipside are different versions of blues. Not really YL’s most representative album, but the first and third tracks are among my faves of his.

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF The Honeydripper

Album · 1961 · Jazz Related Blues
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js
“The Honeydripper” was Jack McDuff’s third album and found him moving away from his hard bop beginnings and towards the new soul jazz sound, the end result is five tracks of pure blues (plus one Mancini classic) played by four guys with jazz chops. Jimmy Forrest is on tenor and provides an old school big sound rooted in the blues and early swing. Grant Green is making his debut recording on this one and easily holds his own against the others. All of the tunes are good, but collectors of lounge classics will want to take notice of McDuff’s cover of Mancini’s “Mr Lucky”. Brother Jack approaches this one with all the stops out for that classic full organ sound and extra swanky lounge groove. Other highlights on here include the up-tempo boppish “Whap!”, and “I want a Little Girl”, which is played with that odd sound that is created when only the high drawbars on the B3 are pulled out.

There’s not a lot to say about this one, fans of B3 jazz will know what to expect. “The Honeydripper” compares favorably to other records like it, and fortunately does not have any of the corny tracks that sometimes mar other organ soul jazz records. As a point of reference and comparison, during this same time period, Jimmy Smith's music and organ sound were a little more dry and less gospel sounding than McDuff's, and Smith's structures were more open with longer songs featuring long relaxed solos. Partly because of Forrest, McDuff’s music draws a little more from older swing and jump blues.

JIMMY SMITH Jimmy Smith's Greatest Hits

Boxset / Compilation · 1969 · Jazz Related Blues
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js
With so many Jimmy Smith compilations out there, on vinyl and CD, its hard to tell which might be the best one to go for. If you are looking at your vinyl options, then “Jimmy Smith’s Greatest Hits” (BST 89901) on Blue Note might be the best way to go. All of the tunes on here were recorded between 1957 and 1963, which many consider to be the peak of Smith’s studio recording career. During this time with Blue Note, Smith developed his signature style of virtuoso hard bop riffs played over simple blues changes. Later in his career, on other labels, Smith would veer off into soul jazz, pop, disco and other commercial concerns, but his recordings with Blue Note were always pure jazz blues, some of the most unpretentious and satisfying music you will find. Jimmy’s pioneering work on the B3 is so strong that it went on to influence thousands from Joey DeFrancesco to Jon Lord.

The choice of tunes on here is quite good and some all time favorites can be found including “The Serman” and “Midnight Special”. Other top cuts include the high speed bop dexterity of “The Champ” and the rockin old school RnB of “Prayer Meetin”. There are no duds on here. Blue Note issued another double vinyl Jimmy Smith best of in the mid-70s, but the choice of tunes is better on this earlier compilation, and the sound quality is better too.

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